As recruitment moves increasingly online, it’s vital to have a social media presence that enhances your professional image and boosts your chances of securing the role you want.
Firstly, have a thorough spring-clean of ALL your current social media accounts. Run through all old posts to check that you’re portraying yourself in a way that you’d be happy for a recruiter or employer to see. Check photos and images, as well as text, removing anything controversial, defamatory or in poor taste. Make sure your spelling and grammar don’t let you down either.
So now you’ve removed everything that could be seen as negative, it’s time to start building your personal brand. Follow charities you’re interested in working for and follow charity-related groups and communities on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. Anyone viewing your profile will not only see where your interests lie, but also see that you’re serious about pursuing a career in the charity sector rather than just applying on a whim. You’ll also get charity news direct to your newsfeed, so when the time comes to interview you’ll be up-to-date with trends, changes and challenges in the sector.
Next, you need to start actively engaging on social media. Post relevant updates, including positive information about your job hunt, current job or charities you’re connected with. Do ensure, however, that you remain discreet and don’t post any information that could be considered sensitive or confidential. If you’ve had an interview, don’t share how you think it went or your opinion of the interviewer!
Link your social media accounts, blogs and website, to create additional opportunities for recruiters to find out about you and what you do. Publish original content wherever possible to show off your expertise and professional interests, but equally don’t be afraid to share informed content from other charity professionals (ensuring that they’re credited, obviously).
Make the most of this opportunity to build your professional network. Connect with contacts in the charity sector and even ask for introductions from mutual connections. If you want to connect directly with someone you don’t know, ensure you send a personalised request outlining why you want to connect.
Remember that social media is a more relaxed and creative medium than a CV, so it’s fine (and even expected!) to inject a bit of personality and show the person behind the career. Do ensure that you keep your accounts updated, especially if you’re linking to them from other sites or documents – you don’t want to be perceived as out of touch. Images, videos and links generate more interest than text updates alone.
Now your social media profiles are ship-shape, you’re ready to start job hunting. Post several times a week to ensure that you’re top of your contacts’ minds should they become aware of an opportunity that might suit you. There are thousands of charity roles advertised on social media, ranging from very local to international level, so it pays to check your social media accounts regularly and maximise the search tools available.
It really is worth investing time in polishing your social media presence if you’re serious about pursuing a career in the charity sector.
Jen has been a CV Consultant since 2010 and currently works for CV Knowhow, the UK’s leading career and CV writing consultancy. She has written CVs for thousands of job seekers from all industries and at all stages in their career, from students to senior executives. Jen aims to add value to CVs, enabling her customers to increase their chances of securing an interview and progress in their chosen career.